How To: Choose the Best Battery For Your Vehicle

Hey welcome back everybody Roger here from O’Reilly Auto Parts to give you a basic breakdown on batteries so that
when the time comes to replace the one in your vehicle you can make a more
informed decision. Before I get too much into that I want to give you the
opportunity to subscribe to our channel if you haven’t already so that you don’t
miss out on any of our new content. So the first thing we want to establish is
the fact that there are no gel cell automotive batteries. The majority of
automotive batteries out there are lead acid batteries and the first
thing I’m going to cover today is the two basic types of automotive lead acid
batteries. The two types of batteries are conventional and AGM or absorbent glass
matt batteries. By looking at them you wouldn’t really be able to tell the
difference – it’s all about how they’re set up on the inside. So we’re gonna
start by taking a brief look at the conventional battery. On the inside of
the conventional battery there are two basic elements there are plates and
electrolyte. The plates are grids that are baked with a combination of metals
that promote conductivity. The electrolyte is a solution of sulfuric
acid and water that’s free flowing within the battery. The AGM battery on
the other hand even though it’s made with a similar type of plates as the
conventional battery, each one of the plates is wrapped in AGM material which
absorbs the electrolyte and keeps it in consistent contact with the plates for
improved performance. There’s an easy way to see how this works through this
illustration. For our purposes the liquid inside this cup represents the
electrolyte inside a battery in a conventional battery. It’s free-flowing –
but in an AGM battery each one of the plates are wrapped in AGM material which
absorbs the electrolyte and keeps it right against the plates. The result of
that is a battery that’s 20 times more vibration resistant and spill-proof. Additionally because of its robust construction an AGM battery can have up
to twice the cycle life of a conventional battery, faster recharging,
and more power for electronics. Now that we’ve talked about the basic
construction of these two types of batteries we want to give you some
considerations for when it’s time to replace your battery. The best place to
start is to determine whether it’s actually the battery that’s the issue. You can come into one of our stores and talk to a Parts Professional who can test
your battery and your electrical system for free. Once you’ve determined it is
your battery you need to replace you may have a few choices, but the first thing
to determine is the manufacturer specification for your vehicle which
will include group size, and ratings that include: CCA’s which are cold cranking
amps and RC which is reserve capacity. Group size is the actual
physical dimensions and terminal locations of the batteries that fit your
vehicle. CCA’s or cold-cranking amps is a rating that’s used to determine a
battery’s ability to start an engine in cold temperatures.This is really not as
important as reserve capacity unless you live in a colder climate. RC or reserve
capacity is the best representation of your battery’s overall performance in
all seasons which makes it one of the most important things to consider when
it comes time to replace your battery. Unlike group size when it comes to cold
cranking amps and reserve capacity you can meet or exceed manufacturer’s
specifications, which means you can upgrade as much as you want but you
never want to go below those specifications, because if you do you’re
gonna lose power, your battery’s gonna die sooner and you’ll wind up spending
more money than you would otherwise. One thing that you may not realize is that
lead acid batteries are actually the most recycled consumer products in the
United States at about 99%. In addition to that if you bring them to us we will
recycle them for free. Okay, so just to sum up there are a few things to consider
when it comes time to replace your battery starting with the manufacturer
specifications for your vehicle.You can upgrade as much as you want but you
never want to go down from there. Ways that you can upgrade are to get batteries
with greater cold cranking amps, greater reserve capacity, or in some cases you
can upgrade from a conventional battery to an AGM battery like the SuperStart Platinum. All of these products are available at your local O’Reilly Auto
Parts Store.If you have any questions feel free to see a Parts Professional or
reach out to us on social media we’d love to hear from you. We’ll see you
again soon.